Once through the Vestibul (entrance to Emperor Diocletian’s living quarters), we took a fast look outside the courtyard at the harbor sea views. The courtyard contained the very worth seeing Ethnographic Museum, free with the Split card. We had the time and decided to visit.
Split’s Ethnographic Museum was founded in 1910 and featured a wide range of Dalmatian embroidery, clothing, exhibits detailing trades like knitting, woodcarving and pottery. There was also regional jewelry, and weapons. Carved wooden chests from the 17th century was one of my favorites. Made from walnut and built to protect valuables (just like today) and dowries, they differed from traditional European-style chests. Called “Adriatic-style,” Dalmatia chests had flat lids, legs in the shape of lion’s paws, and stylized motifs with vases, flowers, and birds, all very beautiful.
A portion of the Ethnographic Museum was once the Church of St. Andrew dating back to Emperor Septimius Severus the Great. The room was turned into a church in Diocletian’s Imperial Apartments.
Another room had quite a few “grandfather chairs” – occupied by the oldest person or head of the household, offered to guests, and used from the 17th-20th centuries. (The video will tell you more about them.)
It will come as no surprise to Travels With Sheila’s readers that her favorite section was Dalmatia’s traditional jewelry; a selection of what appeared to be very heavy earrings, necklaces, and a small hat loaded with silver coins and topped with a peacock feather. The hand-tooled wide leather belt used for the man to carry his firearms was also pretty unique. Visit the interesting Ethnographic Museum if you have time. Quite interesting.
Out of the museum, been there…done it, a walk along the Riva for another ice cream cone at Slastice Bobis along with strudels to go; our number 1 pick for ice cream in Split before continuing along the Riva to where the pedestrian area ended. A stage with gigantic television screen had been erected since last night with concessions, vendors hauling soft drinks, kegs of beer and soft drinks. When I asked a stage hand what was going on, he enlightened me. A championship football match (soccer to us) would take place between Croatia and Georgia tonight in Split’s Poljud Stadium and be televised live from this stage.
The streets were filling up with Croatian football/soccer fans dressed in Croatia red and white colors, waving flags, chanting slogans, and drinking beer while Dj’s played loud music. A real scene and exciting for them but we didn’t want to be anywhere in the vicinity of this mob scene later tonight. I wasn’t sure how rowdy they could get if Croatia won or, even more worrying, what would happen if Croatia should happen to lose!
Poljud stadium is one of Croatia’s two largest with 35,000 seats.
Into Sperun Trattoria for the most excellent dinner in Split. Once again, we “split” a salad with cheese. Snarfed down a huge big bowl of garlicky mussels that was so wonderful. I often make mussels at home but they don’t taste anything like these did. We must have used an entire basket of bread, dipping pieces in the leftover garlic oil when mussels were finished. A wonderful Lasagna in a light bechamel sauce followed. If we had stayed on in Split, Sperun would have been our home away from home.
Our excellent waiter brought two complimentary glasses of something that sounded like “Kravaritza?” “Hervitza?” Whatever it was must have been a form of Raki. An exceedingly strong Raki. I schmoozed with the cooks, cutting up octopus for salad, before our waiter told me to go into another room and say hello to big shot Croatian football people.
Walking back to Hotel Luxe after that beyond wonderful dinner, vendors were doing a landslide business selling anything with Croatian red and white on it.
A Happy Ending for the enthusiastic crowds in Split – Nikola Kalinic ended Croatia’s 16-year wait for a victory at the Poljud stadium when he scored the winner in a 2-1 comeback triumph over Georgia in a Euro 2012 qualifier. Yay… Croatia…